Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

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EDITO
Tuesday, 24 April 2018

As a prelude to the opening of the 7th African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), the Ivorian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Ly Ramata Bakayoko, chaired a workshop on the role of research and innovation in the African agricultural transformation process, allowing her to take stock of national agricultural research, according to abidjan.net. In terms of bilateral and multilateral cooperation, the minister cited the Competitive Fund for Sustainable Agricultural Innovation (Fonds compétitif pour l’innovation agricole durable – FCIAD), with a budget of 5 billion CFA francs (€7.6 million), the Renewed Partnership for Development Research (Partenariat rénové pour la recherche au service du développement – Presed), with the financing of three projects in the field of agricultural research for a total of 255 million CFA francs (€342,000) in the framework of France’s debt reduction programme led by the French Development Agency (AFD), while the second debt reduction programme has earmarked funding of 1.21 billion CFA francs to develop agricultural research.

Friday, 08 September 2017

There’s no such thing as too much chocolate—and now, a fourth type could get people eating even more. Swiss cocoa giant Barry Callebaut announced its latest offering, the Ruby chocolate, which comes in a shade of trendy millennial pink. The chocolate’s color, like its flavor, is completely natural and is extracted from the Ruby cocoa bean itself. Unlike dark, milk, and white chocolate, the Ruby chocolate stands out with a berry-fruit flavor and is neither “bitter, milky, or sweet”. Its texture is reported to be of “luscious smoothness.” Scientists invented the chocolate in the company’s research and development centers in France and Belgium. The Ruby bean hails from various regions worldwide, including Ivory Coast, Brazil and Ecuador, reports Today.

Since the implementation of the Caribbean Coconut Industry Development Project two-and-a-half years ago, the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) has made several strides in improving the local coconut industry through training as well as the establishment of new nurseries among other targeted initiatives. The four-year project was undertaken through a partnership between CARDI and the International Trade Centre (ITC), with funding provided by the European Union. It was aimed at improving income and employment opportunities, food security, and overall competitiveness of the Caribbean coconut sector. Participating countries in the project include Jamaica, Belize, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia, and Suriname, among others in the region.

A group in Italy is training migrants — mostly from sub-Saharan Africa — as beekeepers, then pairing them with honey producers who need employees. Aid groups say new efforts by European leaders to stem the flow of migrants from Africa ignores the fact that Europe needs these workers. According to Oxfam, Italy alone will need 1.6 million migrants over the next 10 years. Back in his native Senegal, the only interaction Abdul Adan ever had with bees was when one stung his mouth while he was eating fresh honey. That day, his mouth was so swollen that he didn't leave his home in Senegal's Casamance region. Years later as a migrant worker in Alessandria, Italy, Adan is so comfortable with the insects that he does not even use gloves as he handles their hives and inspects their progress.

Benin’s farmers can again export pineapples to the European Union, their most lucrative market, following the set-up of a food safety surveillance system with the help of the IAEA and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The exports are expected to resume later this month. Pineapple farmers suffered under a voluntary export ban in place since last year due to chemical residues found in Benin’s pineapple exports. This led to a loss of income and also a reduction in farm employment in a sector that has been identified as one of three key growth areas in the country’s development plan. “Instead of tripling exports in line with the plan, our European sales ground to a halt,” said Xavier Satola, a pineapple farmer and president of the Benin Pineapple Exporters Association. “Without exports there is no sustainable production: it is like a locomotive that pulls the entire train.”

A total of more than 10 companies in Belgium have shown interest in coming to The Gambia for investment and trade, two Belgian firms have confirmed. “About 10 to 20 companies in Belgium have shown interest in coming to The Gambia for investment and trade,” said Thomas De Beule, chief executive officer of C&M, a corporate and management firm in Belgium. Delegates from these companies are due in The Gambia from 4 to 8 November, this year, to have direct discussions with the relevant government ministries and with the businesses they may want to enter into joint ventures and corporation with.

The Minister of International Cooperation, Iddris Sulieman discussed, Wednesday, at his office with the Ambassador of Poland to Sudan, resident in Cairo, Mr. Michael Morko, the ways for the development of the economic relations between the two countries, and the necessity for promoting them in all fields. The minister has called during the meeting for benefiting from the two countries capabilities in the various economic domains, especially the agriculture, and animal resources, pointing to the Sudan keenness to establish good relations with all countries for boosting international cooperation.

The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific, His Excellency, Mr Andrew Jacobs and Australia's High Commissioner to Fiji, Her Excellency, Ms Margaret Twomey today handed over equipment valued at approximately F$330,000 (EUR €141,000) to Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) on behalf of the Training Support to the Fijian Sugarcane Industry project, marking the completion of the four-year project. The assets were part of the EU-funded Training Support to the Fijian Sugarcane Industry project implemented by the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) to improve the livelihoods of the sugarcane dependent populations, by promoting income generation through sugarcane farming or alternative livelihoods. The equipment included vehicles, hand and electrical tools, training resources, computers, projectors, as well as other office equipment.

Wednesday, 06 September 2017

The Hass variety may have been at the forefront of the recent global avocado craze, but one South African exporter has noted there was far higher demand for green-skinned cultivars in the European market this season than previous years. A representative from Limpopo-based ZZ2 said EU retailers had been asking for greater volumes than normal of varieties like Fuerte, Ryan and Pinkerton, which are the more sought-after varieties in the South African market. “This year we were blown away by the demand for green-skinned [avocados] in Europe,” marketing manager Clive Garrett told Fresh Fruit Portal.

A Rwandan Chili pepper farmer is silently harvesting money season after season as he gradually captures foreign markets. Dieudonné Twahirwa the founder of Gashora Farm Ltd grows chili pepper on 150 hectares of land in Bugesera district and other parts of the country. He harvests 10 metric tones of dry chili every season. An Indian company- Akay Flavours and Aromatics pvt ltd was the first to purchase chili from Gashora Farm and directly exports to the United Kingdom. Since 2016 Twahirwa has been supplying the Indian company. Twahirwa broke the ice during an encounter with agro experts at International Trade Center (ITC) through its project Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa (SITA). “This meeting facilitated me to reach international markets. They facilitated me to attend the international spice conference in India, I have met different international buyers, now I have buyers from Belgium, France, India, Netherlands of the dry African bird eye chili,” Twahirwa said.